How Can Innovative Measures of Beginning Teacher Competence Help Improve Teacher Quality?
Several new and developing teacher assessment systems use a variety of testing and assessment methods, including assessments of teaching performance. These include multiple measures of candidates’ knowledge, skills, abilities, and dispositions. In these systems, assessments are integrated with professional development and with ongoing support of prospective or beginning teachers.
New and developing assessment systems warrant investigation for addressing the limits of current initial teacher licensure tests and for improving teacher licensure. The benefits, costs, and limitations of these systems should be investigated.
Research and development of broad-based indicators of teacher competence, not limited to test-based evidence, should be undertaken; indicators should include assessments of teaching performance in the classroom, of candidates’ ability to work effectively with students with diverse learning needs and cultural backgrounds and in a variety of settings, and of competencies that more directly relate to student learning.
When initial licensure tests are used, they should be part of a coherent developmental system of preparation, assessment, and support that reflects the many features of teacher competence.